Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Call me paranoid, but I think that smokers who cluster in front of buildings are plotting against us non-smokers. Usually they herd together like penguins on an ice floe and speak in whispers. No doubt planning the overthrow of nicotine infidels by whatever means necessary.

I realize it's difficult to be told by your boss to leave the comfort of your workplace and take your filthy, disgusting habit outside – especially in the dead of winter. But you made your bed, my friend, now you must smoke in it.

I am currently working on plans for survival in the age of first, second, and even third-hand smoke. Here's plan number one.

Next time you pass by a group of smokers huddled together outside a building and looking furtive, try to get close enough to hear their plans.

The best approach is to light up a cigarette, making sure not to cough like a rank amateur, and infiltrate their ranks. A miniature recorder, easily hidden inside your coat, jacket or baseball cap, can be purchased at any local spy store.

For your own protection, this message will self-delete two minutes after you read it.


Sunday, February 22, 2009


The vitamin people would probably tell you they stuff cotton in their bottles to cut down on breakage and muffle the sound of pills rattling around needlessly.

Sounds logical enough. But here's another logical theory. They want to save money by cutting down on the number of vitamins they sell.

Now I'm not suggesting the cotton wad is a scam.

I certainly wouldn't want any trouble from those vitamin people. Just because I once heard they were tied in with the New Jersey Mafia doesn't mean it's true. And I sure don't want to end up with broken ribs and busted kneecaps. Let's just say I'm leaning in the direction of skepticism.

In fact, I'm more than leaning. I'm convinced that this vitamin mob is trying their best to pull the cotton over our eyes.


Friday, February 13, 2009


The key to the city opens nothing. Getting one is an honor. But unless the Mayor is in a generous mood, the key itself won't get you a good meal at a fancy restaurant, a pair of tickets to a top play or sporting event. Or even a name-brand suit at a prestigious clothing establishment.

The big key is a gala ritual in which a person or group of people are honored for achieving something worthwhile.

There is little in life that is more useless or less practical than getting a key to the city. The custom began in New York City in the 1800s and became a symbol of the Mayor's wish to open up the city to its distinguished recipient.

For reasons that escape me, the rock star Ludacris was given a key to the city of Atlanta in 2004. The year the New York Giants won the Super Bowl, Plaxico Burress got one. I understand that Madonna is also being considered. So obviously the fame aspect of the key can fade quickly, and in some cases, disappear entirely.

The least the city officials could do when presenting their big key is to bring a modicum of honesty to their ersatz ceremony.

I, Mayor Culpa, along with my esteemed colleagues, would like to present this worthless key to you as a way of recognizing your unselfish and outstanding achievements. So here is your big key. It unlocks nothing and impresses no one. But it's our way of saying thanks and also getting all of us some well-deserved publicity. Oh, and don't bother putting your key on E-bay. Nobody will buy it.


Sunday, February 8, 2009


Coaches are always saying they expect 110% effort from their players. Obviously none of these coaches has ever taught math.

"They came to play” is another sports favorite. Like a team really needs to be reminded of their intentions. Otherwise how would they know what they were doing at the game wearing those numbered uniforms and seeing a stadium filled with drunk and screaming fans.

"Wait till next year.” What makes this expression so durable is that the team in question doesn't have to concern itself with the abysmal statistics of the current season.

But the sports platitude at the top of my bone-head list would have to be “playing one game at a time.” Is there really a choice here?

I understand the message coaches are making to their players – that they should concentrate on the present, and not worry about the games ahead of them.

Still, if only to make their jobs more interesting, I'm amazed the sports interviewers never call them on it.

"I find your one-game-at-a-time concept fascinating. But playing two games at a time would be more efficient. And, as an added bonus, give you a shorter season.”


Thursday, February 5, 2009


It's hard to say why so many men are so dense when it comes to women. But all my research indicates that it's some kind of faulty genetic wiring. Although I wouldn't completely rule out the asshole theory.

Men know that a woman likes her man to be caring. However, if there's a hint of crying on the first date, there may not be a second. Speaking of first dates, no woman wants to hear a guy's entire life story over a cheap meal at Wendy's.

And here's a helpful suggestion for all those guys who promise a woman they'll call and never do, or wait a month because they think it's cool – get lost or grow up!

I could be wrong, but I believe there's a reason why some husbands can never find their gray socks, special underwear, favorite tie, driving gloves, golf clubs, old catcher's mitt, lawn mower, or even the orange juice in the fridge.

It's the same reason that some guys can never do simple chores around the house without screwing them up -- these losers have wives or girlfriends to find stuff and bail them out.

Regarding the fragile male ego, don't be afraid to get beaten in golf, tennis, bowling, or even checkers by a girlfriend or wife you claim is your equal. And should you do something sappy – and we all do– just admit it.

Don't try to make up for it with a floral arrangement you bought in a place that also sells cigarettes, soda, beef jerky and newspapers. Understand she's hurt and insulted that you didn't give her credit for being able to see right through your flower plot.

Another annoying guy thing. If a man weighs 285 pounds, is slightly taller than a fireplug, and has never lifted anything heavier than a beer stein-- he has no right to criticize his girlfriend for putting on a few pounds over the winter or any other season.

And when you tell a woman you love her – and you're both in bed shagging on your third date – don't be surprised or offended if she's not buying it. Hey, I'm a guy, too. And some of you out there are embarrassing me with the crap you pull.